Dinner; empanada’s!

designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Empanada

designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Empanada

designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Empanada

designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Empanada

designedlifeblog.blogspot.com Empanada

I’m big on flavor. I love sweet, spicy, smoky, basically tastes that make my tongue sing..even it that's sometimes more of a screech for water. Don’t worry though, this dish is not one of those. This is my take on a empanada and  pastechi (an island chick is an island chick). The filling is more reminiscent of the the the first and the flakier crust the latter.
This combines my love of pastry, brown sugar and rum right into dinnertime! I added a dip of roasted red bell peppers with ricotta to soften the flavours. This dish is also relatively quick and kids eat it without too much complaining and that is something I can appreciate with two picky eaters at the table.

ground beef
black pepper, whole
cumin seeds
olive oil
bay leaves
tomato paste
beef stock
dark rum
golden raisins
silvered almonds
ground cinnamon
brown sugar
angostura bitters
pastry dough sheets

1 red bell pepper
1 tomato
bay leaf
white wine
brown sugar
half tub ricotta
olive oil
lemon juice
garlic powder

Chop the pepper, deseed and chop the tomato. Add to a roasting tin and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with brown sugar, salt and cayenne pepper and toss to coat. Add a splash of white wine and water and roast on high till soft with crisp edges. Let cool. Tip into a food processor and pulse till smooth. Fold in the ricotta, add a a drizzle of olive oil, lemon juice and season with garlic powder, white pepper and sea salt to taste. Keep chilled till serving.

Heat the oil with bay leaves, whole peppercorns, crushed cumin and oil till fragrant. Discard the peppercorns and garlic. Brown the meat in the flavoured oil with ground cayenne and chili. Add tomato paste, stock, rum and let simmer till sauce thickens. Add the raisins, silvered almonds and flavour with cinnamon and bitters. Cook till raisins are plump.

Spoon the mixture onto pastry sheet and roll tightly. Press the ends together and pinch with a fork. Egg wash and sprinkle with remaining almond slivers. Make a small slit and bake in a moderate (170/180 Celsius) oven till browned, about 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. 

P.S. sorry for the late post but it was one of those days where everything went pear-shaped and I ended up running around with a sourpuss toddler trying to fix it, only to get an accidental but hard smack in the shin by said toddler and then the school bell rung for my oldest..

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